Exactly 20 years ago this week, I was working my first post-college job. What was it? Well, my degree is Political Science with an International Emphasis, so naturally I was an administrative assistant....in a broadcasting office.
It was at the WORLD CUP OF 1994!! People, I would have done any job to have gotten to work at the World Cup. I was lucky to have an inside, well-paying job and still get to be around all the action. (The photo above is the jacket I was given by my employer, EBU Sports.) Of course, twenty years ago the only people I knew interested in the World Cup were international friends at Texas Christian University with a couple other Americans thrown in for variety.) It was one of those friends who referred me to the office where I got the job.
The work was all day long, seven days a week. I actually had to ask special permission to get off for the two games to which I had already bought tickets. (I saw South Korea vs Germany in group stage and then Brazil vs. The Netherlands in the quarterfinals.) No big deal.
I mean: BIG AMAZING DEAL! INCREDIBLE!
I have not even gotten to the biggest part of this story, though. As part of an office to which international broadcasters came by every day, I really got to know some of them well. I would always talk to this couple from Colombia who told me all about their country and family. We became friends and they asked if I would visit them. I said I would love to. (Americans tend to deal with these invitations a bit casually compared with our foreign counterparts.) A couple weeks more of this chatter and one day the wife shows up with a packing list. For my visit. To Colombia.
I was a 22 year old young lady. I had just graduated from college. I did not mean for them to take my invitation acceptance so seriously, so...now. What could I do?
I went to Colombia for 6 months and it changed my life.